When you're going through a divorce, it's necessary to put your child first. Regardless of the situation, your child's best interests are paramount. Whether you make a parenting agreement yourself or have a judge order one, the result should be a situation that works in favor of your child.
While you may want to focus on other important aspects of your divorce, figuring out your child's future is something that must happen quickly and efficiently. The courts want to see parents who put their children first.
What does focusing on a child's best interests mean, really?
It means that all visitation and custody decisions are made in consideration of what is best for the child's health, security, emotional development and mental health. For example, it's usually in a child's best interests to have a relationship with both parents. Likewise, if only one parent was around the majority of the time, it would probably not be in the child's best interests to give the absent parent custody.
In custody conflicts, it's the responsibility of the individuals involved as well as the court to come up with a solution that considers the welfare of the child. The factors that determine what's best for the child could include the child's wishes, the child's age and gender, the child's mental and physical health, the parents' mental and physical health, whether or not the child has siblings and what their relationship is like and others.
The decisions in a child's best interests aren't necessarily the best arrangement for the parents, but they are necessary to keep the child in a balanced, healthy situation.
Source: FindLaw, "Focusing on the "Best Interests" of the Child," accessed Nov. 10, 2017